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  • Writer's pictureOscar Giwa

I am Lekan Balogun’s Daughter

By Yinka Balogun,

About 45 years ago, my father decided to resign from his cushy job at Shell, move from Port Harcourt and go to Ibadan, to answer the call, be amongst his people and begin his journey to the throne of his ancestors.

One of the reasons that decision was doable, was because he had a supportive wife. Despite being Ibo and Christian, my mother encouraged her husband on his journey to his roots… a Yoruba, predominantly Muslim family.

Was it easy? Nah…. such life-changing decisions never are.

In the time between that decision and today, my father threw himself into politics and helping his community. He became the Mogaji of Ali-Iwo. He ran for Governor of Oyo State in 1983, at a time when Ibadan politics was an embodiment of the wild Wild West… threat to life, assassination attempts etc were a regular concern in our life. My father went on to become a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Serving his people has always been his purpose. He has never been one to amass wealth for himself or his immediate family.

However inconveniencing, uncertain or unknown the future may appear, we must never be that spouse that tries to stand in the way of a person and their destiny or passion. Support them, or if you feel it is beyond your capability, preserve yourself, get out of their way and give them room to soar… but, never use your own understanding or capability to try to shape the destiny of another. That is not love. When you love someone, you want to see them fulfil their dreams and purpose… if you can walk with them on that journey, great… but if you can’t, do not be an obstacle.

As his daughter, I learned that true love loves, regardless of and in spite of. Growing up, I might have preferred for my father to be just father to us his biological children, but I very quickly learned that his purpose in life didn’t need to end where my desires begun. I would have loved for him to be at every PTA meeting and Sports Day, but I realised early in life that there were things bigger than my wants or my PTA meetings. With that level of acceptance, we formed our own very beautiful and unique relationship. Our bond is still so strong today. Seeing him fulfil his purpose became a source of joy, that completely overshadowed the missed choir practices and PTAs. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

When you love someone, you learn to love them as they are and for what they are, not for what you prefer them to be or because they fit neatly into your comfort zone.

So when people ask me… how will you cope with your husband being a politician?… I simply smile… I am Lekan Balogun’s daughter. 😁

Yinka Balogun

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